Please read Matthew 25:14-28
His master said to him, “Well done good and faithful servant…”Matthew 25:21 (ESV)
We have all been given talents to use and build and grow his kingdom and bring honour and glory to him. It could be worship, teaching, speaking, encouraging, being a mother or a friend.
No matter what you do, you can have influence and share the gospel which is what God has called each of his followers to do.
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”Mark 16:15 (ESV)
As Christians it should be our desire to hear the same words as this servant in Matthew did, Well done good and faithful servant, but lets break that down a little bit.
Everything we do should be done well or with excellence, even at the very beginning in Genesis 1 God created the world and HE said it was very good. This was continued through Jesus example on earth as in Mark 7: 37 we read how the people were overwhelmed with amazement as Jesus healed a deaf man stating, “He has done everything well”.
As we are his representation on earth, this is the example we ought to follow. I talk about I’s dotted and T’s crossed.
For example, one of the first things you learn in the army is how to polish your shoes, they carry huge importance and is not to be taken lightly. They take great care in lining their shoes up, measuring the precise distance from their bed and other belongings. It may seem like a strange thing to be strict about but not one to be taken lightly. You see, their view is if you can’t do the small things well, how do you expect to go on and win a war?
If you want to do the big things well, you must first do the small things well.
This isn’t just something we see in the army, but a challenge set throughout the Bible.
- In Daniel 6:3 Darius saw Daniels exceptional qualities and put him over the whole kingdom.
- In Ecclesiastes 9:10 it says “Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might…”
- In Colossians 3: 23 Paul writes “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”
The Bible clearly challenges us to do things in excellence, to the best of our ability but this takes discipline and tenacity.
You may have heard this example before but there was a student and a teacher, and after having set the class a task the teacher was accepting the student’s work. When it came to the last student the teacher said, “Is this the best you can do?”, the student thought about it and decided no, he could definitely do better. The student came back and again the teacher said, “Is this the very best you can do?” Again, the student thought about it and decided that no, this was not the very best they could do. Ten times the teacher had to ask if it was the best the student could do before they finally said yes.
Do we give God our best?
Do we get things done? Do we always find a way, do what’s necessary, have that ‘whatever it takes’ mentality? Or is it a ‘started well but didn’t get it finished’, stopped short, give up mentality.
In Luke 14:12-24, there was a banquet prepared and many people were invited, however each one had nothing but excuses as to why they couldn’t/wouldn’t be there. For example, attend to their ox, just married, or bought a field.
What excuses would we give?
It took Noah between 50-70 years to build the ark, but he didn’t give up. He persevered in trialling circumstances. He got the job done. The disciples were the same, they never gave up. They kept going to get the job done, to share the gospel even through trials and tribulations, it didn’t matter. They got it done.
When we take ownership of the vision and responsibility of seeing it through we will get things done.
We can do things well but if our character is not right we risk everything getting undone. We must be of good character and integrity which means our beliefs match our behaviour, and our words match our ways.
The righteous who walks in his integrity- blessed are his children after him!Proverbs 20:7 (ESV)
The world doesn’t care as long as the job gets done but our character and integrity are everything in the spiritual world.
What are you known for?
It’s OK wanting or expecting to hear “Well done good and faithful servant” when on the platform, or in plain view- but could God say “Well done…” when you are in private? It’s not all about being in the public eye, but when you are alone.
Many have fallen due to character issues, make sure and guard your heart.
People get away with it for a while but eventually it comes down round them. Praise God he is gracious and gives us time to repent.
Being faithful means dependable, trustworthy, and consistent.
We keep going even when we think no one is looking for no one cares and with no encouragement. Even when nothing seems to be happening or working out we keep going, we keep our faith.
We don’t change because of feelings but remain faithful to God and our calling.
Should that be a situation in church, ministry, with family, or friends.
Paul said in Acts 20:22-24
“And now, compelled by Spirit, I’m going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord has given me.”Acts 20:22-24
In Luke 9:46-48 the disciples wanted to know who would be the greatest. Jesus response? “For he who is least among you all is the one who is great”. You see, Jesus said well-done good and faithful servants not leaders or C.E.O’s.
God hates the proud and gives grace to the humble. Nothing we do is of us but all of him.
The greatest evangelist of the 19th century, D.L. Moody was at a conference with European leaders/pastors. When staying at the hotel the European leaders left their shoes outside their door to be polished, as was accustomed in Europe. However, it wasn’t in America. When he saw what they had done, and not wanting to embarrass them, D.L. Moody picked up their shoes every night and polished them himself.
That’s a servant heart.
On one of our Coaching For Christ trips to Kenya we came back from a coaching session to see a long line of children. When we got closer, we realised one of our team members was taking the time to not only wash their feet but cut their toenails all while they listened to his music on a Walkman.
Again, that’s a servant heart.
We are created to serve.
Jesus was the ultimate, servant.
Who are we serving, man, self, or God?
Written by Stephen Crawford